Do you fly United Airlines on a regular basis? Then you probably know that earning and redeeming miles in MileagePlus is a cinch compared to many other frequent flyer programs.
Plus, United is part of the Star Alliance – a pretty big deal considering this is the largest airline alliance out there!
Still, the more miles you rack up as a MileagePlus member, the better your redemption options. We’re going to show you some useful strategies for earning lots of miles – as many as 100,000 in 90 days!
Let’s get started!
Why Would You Want to Earn 100k Miles?
If you’re asking, “Why would I want to earn so many miles??” consider checking out our detailed guide to maximizing your redemptions. It includes example flight awards for a couple’s getaway, family beach vacation, and even an Asian adventure.
The list of options for using your miles is practically endless! It’s simply a matter of banking those miles as quickly as possible so you can get traveling.
1. Sign up for Chase Credit Cards and Qualify for Bonuses
There are 2 types of Chase credit cards that earn United MileagePlus miles.
Your first option is to use United MileagePlus co-branded cards, which are listed in the table below.
Depending on the card, you may qualify for a sign-up bonus of 30,000-50,000 points after you spend a minimum amount within the first 3 months. Periodically, Chase offers sign-up bonuses worth an extra 20,000 points, for 50,000-70,000 points total!
If you’re lucky enough to apply for a card during such a promotion, you can be halfway (or further) to your goal of 100k points within a few months. Sign up for a personal and business card, and you can meet (or beat) your goal as soon as you spend the required amount!
It takes 6-8 weeks for bonus points or statement credit to appear after you qualify.
Click on a link in the table below to learn more about United MileagePlus credit card offers and the United Airlines MileagePlus program.
|Loyalty Program||Credit Card|
|United Airlines MileagePlus Frequent Flyer Program||United MileagePlus® Explorer Card|
|Chase United MileagePlus® Club Card|
|Chase United MileagePlus® Explorer Business Card|
|Chase United MileagePlus® Club Business Card|
Hot Tip: Add an authorized user to your personal or business United MileagePlus credit card and potentially get 5,000 bonus points! In these deals, the authorized user must make a purchase within the first 3 months before points are awarded.
The second option is to sign up for Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards and then transfer the points you earn over to your United MileagePlus account.
You’ll find links to the 6 Ultimate Rewards credit cards below. Just remember that you must have at least 1 of the cards labeled with an asterisk to be able to transfer all your points to United miles.
|Loyalty Program||Credit Card|
|Chase Ultimate Rewards Program Review||Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card*|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card*|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited℠|
|Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card*|
|Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card|
*Cards marked with a star ‘*’ are travel rewards cards, which allow you to pool and transfer your points to travel partners!
2. Go Shopping Online!
You have 2 terrific opportunities to earn United MileagePlus miles for online shopping.
United MileagePlus Shopping Portal: Choose from more than 850 participating retailers (like American Eagle Outfitters, Under Armour, and many others) and make a purchase through the portal to earn 2x-15x per $1 spent plus occasional bonuses.
Learn more about using the United shopping portal in our guide!
Other Retail Partners: Mercedes-Benz, FTD, and Bose are just 3 of the retail partners that offer miles for each purchase. Shop the MileagePlus Digital Media Store to earn at least 2 miles per $1 spent on audiobooks, eBooks, and music.
Hot Tip: Download the United MileagePlus X app to your smartphone from the iTunes or Google Play store to receive exclusive bonus mile offers.
3. Buy Concert Tickets
Purchase tickets for sporting events, music concerts, and theater performances through 2 partner programs: Audience Rewards (50-2,000 miles per ticket) or ScoreBig (1,000 miles first purchase, then up to 10,000 miles for 2+ tickets).
4. Donate to Find a Cure
Fly to Find a Cure is a program that supports the National Foundation for Cancer Research. Donate at least $25 to the program, and you’ll receive 1 mile per $1 spent in return. It takes 4-6 weeks for these miles to post to your account.
Using Those 100k+ United MileagePlus Miles
As we’ve mentioned, you have plenty of redemption options with MileagePlus. Here are 3 ideas to think about:
Fly First Class on Thai Airways: Travel to Asia on Thai Airways in luxury. A first class ticket from the U.S. is 130,000 United miles. Plus, enjoy access to the Thai Airways First Class Lounge!
Because Thai Airways does not fly directly to the U.S., you’ll have to fly with a Star Alliance partner and connect through Europe.
Travel to Africa in Business Class: Want to visit Africa? Redeem 80,000 United MileagePlus miles to fly on a Star Alliance carrier to Africa from the U.S.
Take Lufthansa First Class: Redeem 110,000 miles and fly in style on a one-way first class ticket from the U.S. on Lufthansa. Connecting through Frankfurt allows you to visit the First Class Terminal, known for its absolutely fabulous airport lounge. You can even take a bath while you wait for your flight!!
By now, we hope it’s clear how easily you can earn 100k+ United MileagePlus miles in a very short time. For more strategies, read our guide to earning miles, which includes loads of examples you can learn from.
For instance, you might want to check out the United Dining program to maximize your earning.
Let your imagination go to work as you select the best ways to spend those points!